E-wallets are expected to bloom in the next few years. Source: Shutterstock

E-wallets are expected to bloom in the next few years. Source: Shutterstock

Can e-wallets really take off if user concerns remain unaddressed?

E-WALLETS are becoming more popular every day.

In Indonesia, e-wallets contribute to the country’s financial inclusion initiatives whereas, in Singapore, they help build a cashless society.

E-wallets are also making progress in Malaysia. Cash payments in the country are expected to decline by 8.1 percent, signifying that e-wallets – among other digital solutions – will grow in prominence and importance.

In fact, Touch ‘n Go e-wallet CEO Ignatius Ong told Tech Wire Asia that the e-wallet industry in Malaysia is past the infancy stage.

However, Ong noted that there is a need for industry players to tap into market segments that are yet to adopt e-wallet capabilities – may it be consumers or small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Like any other digital solution, players in the e-wallets space face challenges that hinder their implementation. The biggest one being the general lack of trust among users.

This is a valid concern that providers need to address by ensuring that the public is more informed about the technology. “[E-wallet providers] still have gaps in terms of financial education to the public,” said Ong.

According to Ong, service providers must tackle the concerns that limit e-wallets from being the preferred payment system. This can be done by bridging the knowledge gaps in the market.

“When it comes to a mobile wallet, users are cautious with sharing their details with the service provider,” explained the CEO.

Although the scenario does not deter the general adoption rate, providers need to be more sensitive to user’s concerns.

Ong added, “If they use online payments, there are risks that they can be exposed to, like fraud, data theft, and also hacking.” Though this is true to some extent, e-wallets have to offer visibility over the security measures that are being leveraged.

E-wallet operators often partner with government agencies to create adoption campaigns and offer relevant incentives. To catapult themselves ahead of the competition, they need to ensure they educate users effectively.

In terms of encouraging adoption among SMEs, providers must look into providing financial education on how embracing e-wallets can truly benefit them while creating new business opportunities.

Nevertheless, at the core of it all, e-wallet providers must always aim to address the concerns of untapped segments in the market while also improving the product itself to assure quality and reliability.